Network slicing as a service: enabling enterprises' own software-defined cellular networks

Xuan Zhou, Rongpeng Li, Tao Chen, Honggang Zhang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    213 Citations (Scopus)


    With the blossoming of network functions virtualization and software-defined networks, networks are becoming more and more agile with features like resilience, programmability, and open interfaces, which help operators to launch a network or service with more flexibility and shorter time to market. Recently, the concept of network slicing has been proposed to facilitate the building of a dedicated and customized logical network with virtualized resources. In this article, we introduce the concept of hierarchical NSaaS, helping operators to offer customized end-to-end cellular networks as a service. Moreover, the service orchestration and service level agreement mapping for quality assurance are introduced to illustrate the architecture of service management across different levels of service models. Finally, we illustrate the process of network slicing as a service within operators by typical examples. With network slicing as a service, we believe that the supporting system will transform itself to a production system by merging the operation and business domains, and enabling operators to build network slices for vertical industries more agilely.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)146-153
    JournalIEEE Communications Magazine
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • mobile telecommunication systems
    • quality assurance
    • quality of service
    • cellular network
    • network functions
    • production system
    • service level agreements
    • service management
    • service orchestration
    • supporting systems
    • virtualized resources


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